Although a singular cause of Colony collapse disorder has not been found most feel a significant contributing factor is the extensive use of pesticides. Bees have a weak immune system and subsequently are very susceptible to the effects of environmental toxins. Those most vulnerable to the effects of pesticides in the human population are the very young, the very old and those with a weakened immune system. This movie from the National Film Board of Canada documents the dangers of pesticides used by potato farmers in Prince Edward Island to the human population. More than 30% of Canada's potatoes are grown in P.E.I.
As a child growing up in the 60's I spent time in the summer on a family farm in New Brunswick. Like most farms of that era it was a diverse farm with a variety of crops and dairy production. My mother lived through the depression on that farm and said she didn't feel the effects of the depression because they were self sufficient. In the 70's was a movement towards low cost foods which resulted in expanding farm size and monoculture farming. Our family farm became a large pig farm.
This film is not meant to vilify the potato farmers of P.E.I. but to illustrate the reality of the present day industrial farming techniques. Unless you buy organic you are consuming pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
The pests are constantly adapting to the pesticides so new stronger chemicals must be constantly developed like the neonicotinoids (Pesticides and Bees).
What can you do to help the human and bee population from the effects of these toxins? Go natural. Don't use pesticides, herbicides or fungicides and reduce or eliminate the use of toxins in your home (cleaners, cosmetics, paints, plastics...).
A good rule of thumb is to buy local and buy organic. Support your local organic farmer and beekeeper.